Second Wind Dreams bestows gift

Submitted PhotoFred Gardner met the Harlem Globetrotters during the team's recent Valdosta visit. 

VALDOSTA — PruittHealth annually partners with a non-profit called Second Wind Dreams which is dedicated to fulfilling dreams of senior citizens. 

Second Wind Dreams is dedicated to changing the perception of aging, according to PruittHealth representatives. Just because someone is getting older and needs the care of an assisted living does not mean they stop experiencing life, they said. 

Fred Gardner, a resident of PruittHealth – Crestwood had a dream of seeing the Harlem Globetrotters come true.

Gardner experienced one of his lifelong dreams because of Second Wind Dreams. Gardner has always had a love for sports especially basketball, they said. 

He played basketball in school and later became a youth basketball and football coach In his early adulthood. He has been a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters since his childhood.  

“I remember when we got our first TV," his mom said, "he started watching the Harlem Globetrotters. You know how funny they are and the tricks they do, that’s when he became a fan.”  

His mom visits her son at PruittHealth – Crestwood almost every day, representatives said. 

Gardner’s handicap and medical conditions posed difficult challenges in transporting and seating arrangements within the Valdosta State University P.E. Complex, where the Globetrotters played but PruittHealth – Crestwood was up for the challenge. 

With the help of the Crestwood team and Convent, Gardner was transported to the gymnasium. VSU recreation representatives provided the seating accommodations needed for Gardner’s special wheelchair, representatives said. 

PruittHealth – Crestwood was able to get in contact with the Harlem Globetrotters’ stage manager who provided the opportunity for Gardner to sit courtside during the show, receive an autographed Harlem Globetrotters basketball and meet the team. 

Gardner had tears rolling down his cheeks as he was rolled into the VSU gymnasium, representatives said. 

"He smiled ear to ear and laughed as he watched their silly skits," they said. 

When he returned to PruittHealth-Crestwood, he told everyone and showed off his autographed basketball as well as his new Harlem Globetrotter’s hat and T-shirt.

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